Born Prince Shappa Avaroinn Haveila Coutara Froillain, Prince Shappa is the eldest son of King Kessekla of Etrovansia and has a strong but disputed claim to the throne. This is his story up until the events of Vengeance of Hope.
Shappa was born in Iprarta in 1496 AU, the elder of two brothers. His father Kessekla was a paranoid and malleable man, and his unstable reign was marked by the putting down of rebellions and the harrying of his people all over the country, with his quiet and almost anonymous Queen Johara doing nothing to stop him.
This behaviour only lessened, although it never fully stopped, when Shappa came of age in 1512 and chose to live at his mother’s ancestral estate in Nangosa City, in the Duchy of Nangosa, which encompassed the southern half of Etrovansia. Johara, for her part, moved with him, probably to finally experience some level of freedom from the volatile Kessekla, as well as the younger Prince Ravla, Shappa’s brother, who was fast becoming the image of his neurotic father.
Given that Shappa had been named the Duke of Nangosa at his birth, there was little Kessekla could do but acquiesce to this development. With Shappa and his mother taking up residence in Nangosa Palace and overseeing the day to day governorship of the duchy, relative stability returned. It didn’t go unnoticed by the people of the south that where before the King had been crushing rebellions the length and breadth of the kingdom, he was now only doing so in the north, exterminating resistance more heavy-handedly than ever, until there was almost none left. All the while, as refugees displaced by the turmoil of the north settled in the peaceful south, Shappa’s more diplomatic approach to running his lands saw this popularity rise ever further.
Relationship with Prince Ravla
You can choose your friends, but not your relatives, and nobody would choose an obsessively jelous younger sibling like Shappa's brother Ravla. From an early age, rather than focusing on becoming the astute military leader that so many secondary children in royal and noble families are expected to become, Ravla set his eyes on the ultimate prize, the crown of Etrovansia, Prince Shappa's birthright, and in so doing, he wanted everything that Prince Shappa had, or if not, something better.
All through their childhood, if Shappa bought a horse, Ravla bought a finer one, paying no heed to the whether or not he paid over the odds. Furthermore, if Shappa wanted to by a particular horse, but had not yet completed the purchase, Ravla would to anything to outbid him.
After years of this already, at fourteen, Shappa is known to have bemoaned, 'Ravla does not see a brother in me, only a rival.'
This vying for supermicy between Shappa and Ravla came to a head in the winter of 1519 AU. King Kessekla has been described by many as a paranoid and maliable man at the best of times by non-Etrovansian sources, while Queen Johara has often been just as readily dismissed as quiet, and even anonymous. So when Ravla began to whisper in Kessekla's ear, poisoning his mind against Shappa, who was spending more and more time in his southern estate in Nangosa City, a royal banishment from Etrovansia was never likely to be far away.
Image courtesy of Joe Gardner at Unsplash.